Earlier this month, Cam Newton worked out at a San Diego high school with renowned quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. After putting on an impressive display for about 50 media members, it was believed that the Heisman Trophy winner would wait for March 8 - Auburn's pro-day - to throw again. This would have allowed Newton to perform in a comfortable environment with his own receivers. Early last week, however, the Heisman Trophy winner announced his intentions to participate in full at this year's scouting combine in Indianapolis.
Prior to his workout at Lucas Oil Stadium, Newton was believed to be the number one quarterback in this year's draft and a possible top-five pick. He still very well may be a top five pick; yet, he didn't do himself any favors in Indy on Sunday.
It was a preconceived notion that Cameron Newton was the best athlete in college football at his position. At 6' 6''., 250 lb, the Auburn qb's ability to outrun larger defenders and overpower smaller ones makes him a unique commodity. In what has been called his "iconic Heisman moment", Newton made about five LSU defenders miss, then outran elite cornerback Patrick Peterson - the best defensive back prospect in this year's draft - to the end zone. One thing he did do at the combine was show why he was able to make these kinds of astonishing plays: he ran a 4.59 40-yd dash, recorded a broad jump of 10 feet 6 inches, and had a 35-inch vertical jump.
More importantly, Newton's lack of accuracy that was, at times, evident during his incredible senior season at Auburn, revealed itself once again. Completing 11 of 21 passes, the Walter Camp Award winner showed that his game is, indeed, flawed. Something tells me he would have showed a little better with his own receivers...
Putting aside his on-field struggles, Newton did not impress in the interview process. His troubles began with his prepared statement to the media in which he described himself as "not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon". Newton later reassured the media that "First and foremost, I understand that my obligation is to be the best possible football player I can be." Newton also struggled to properly address a question surrounding his apparent decision to run a qb sneak at the end of the BCS National Championship game rather than take a knee, as instructed by head coach Gene Chizik. Instead of convincing teams that he was capable of leading their respective franchises, Cam Newton painted a different picture: bordering on arrogance.
There is still a large amount of time before the Draft (April 28). Cam Newton will have an opportunity to redeem himself at Auburn's pro-day. However, this weekend, he may have convinced potential suitors at the top of the draft - Carolina, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Arizona - that he is not a franchise quarterback. In my opinion, Newton still goes in the top five.